Once I was told that people would be fortunate to find two or three genuine, close and reciprocal friendships over the course of a lifetime. I believed that advice for a long time, and though there is a lot of truth in it, I have found that many great relationships are not found, they are made.
There are some relationships in life that require very little work, kindred spirits that we can easily connect with. You know the ones, that even with multi-year gaps, you can just pick up where you left off, like no time has passed at all. The kind of friends that you never feel the need to explain yourself, you can be yourself with – honest and transparent, yet they somehow make you want to be better at life. I love these kind of friendships, and I am blessed to have more than my allotted handful, but they are rare.
Writing about such friends would make for a short article, we’re all happy to have them, and wish we could connect with them more frequently because most of our relationships in life are not that smooth.
And that’s what I wanted to talk about, all those other friendships, the ones that make up most of our circles, the ones that require a little more work and may not be as fulfilling for you as it is for them. These are the ones that if we choose to limit our investment, could be the greatest missed opportunities of our lives.
I’m not sure why we always think that less work, less investment and less responsibility equals better results, that’s not how the rest of life works. Some relationships are like gifts that have great value at no cost. Most friendships are not free of cost or effort, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable.
In my life, I am surrounded by great friends, more than I can count, in countries all around the world. A few are the gift kind, but most of my great friendships require me to overlook flaws, inconsistencies and offences, and if I am fair, they probably have offered the same towards me too.
Here in Alberta, we understand that work ethic, long hours and heavy lifting are what pays the bills and affords us some luxuries, recreation and the joys of life. Why wouldn’t we put our relationships into that mindset and invest the time and heavy lifting into our friendships, marriages, families, colleagues and community.
Your life can be filled with both kinds of relationships, the free gifts, and the hard-earned fulfilment. I choose to see the value in them both, because when it comes to friends, I’d prefer more.